Helon Habila was born in Nigeria. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Jos. In 1999 he moved to Lagos, where he worked for the magazine Hints; he later moved on to Vanguard Newspaper as Literary Editor. For his poems, Habila has won several important writing competitions, including the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) national poetry award for his poem “Another Age” in 2000 and 2001. The year 2000 saw the publication of his first collection of short stories, Prison Stories by Epik Books. “Love Poems”, one of the stories in this collection, received the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2001, which catapulted Habila onto the international stage. His first novel, Waiting for an Angel, came out in 2002. It went on to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book (Africa Region). After winning the Caine Prize, Habila was invited to be the first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, where he stayed as a Chevening Scholar, and later as a PhD Candidate, from 2002-2007.